The fourteenth Chill-Insurance Kilmacud Crokes All Ireland U14 Ladies Football 7s
The fourteenth Chill-Insurance Kilmacud Crokes All Ireland U14 Ladies Football 7s began on Saturday as 32 teams arrived from all around the country, from Donegal to Kerry, and Dublin to Mayo and further afield. We welcomed back St Colmcilles returning from Hertfordshire , full of the excitement of the day, the chatter was excited and stories were told while on the M50 on the road to Dublin and teams who had become acquainted the night before when staying over in local hotels. Clontarf Ladies came out on standby but all the teams had turned up, some even checking out the venue a week previously and the night before, very enthusiastic.
The warm ups were starting and the U14 7s kicked off at 10am in Glenalbyn, Silverpark and Coláiste Eoin/Íosagáin with eight groups of four teams each.
As the qualifying teams gathered back in Glenalbyn from the venues the competitive spirit was evident, with teams giving it everything with a number of games ending in draws and finishing with penalty shoot outs, a hard way to decide on which team progresses, such as Tinahely and Moycullen in Silverpark.
It was remarked that through the side-lines you could hear the positive ongoing encouragement of the mentors, and the tactics being discussed. Endless photos were taken of players and their opposition together shaking hands and encapsulating the spirit of the day. Marie Hickey, President of LGFA arrived and met with teams and took in some of the exciting matches watching Timahoe and St Brigid’s battle it out.
The Plate Semi Finals found Kilcullen from Kildare winning with a score of 6-5 to 6-0 against Castlerahan/Denn from Cavan and Kilkenny City from Kilkenny with a score of 12-4 to 3-7 beating St. Mochua’s Derrynoose from Armagh. The exciting plate final was refereed by Harry O’Crowley ended with Kilkenny City lifting the cup at full time with a score of 6-4 to Kilkenny City to Kilcullen’s 3-7 score. The girls gave full effort on the pitch until the end after a great but long day of matches.
The Cup Semi Finals found Galtee Rovers/St. Pecauns from Tipperary playing against Galway side Claregalway in a very exciting and tight game with some lovely scores from both sides which resulted with a score of 4-9 for Claregalway and 5-4 to Galtee Rovers with Claregalway qualifying for the final. The other semi waa Munster derby with Kerry V Waterford battle with the Waterford side Ballymacarby coming out on top with a score of 5-9 to Southern Gael’s 4-2.
Led onto the pitch for the Cup Final by the Piper, and standing anxiously for the national anthem, the Galway V Waterford battle was waiting to kick off with referee John Doherty ready with the whistle and fans ready to cheer.
Claregalway got off to a great start but Ballymacarby kept them on their toes throughout. There were some lovely scores by both sides and the team to lift the Cup this year was Claregalway who scored 3-8 to Ballymacarby’s 1-4. Both teams displayed some excellent skills and team work during the exciting final.
Player of the tournament was awarded to Kate Slevin No. 7 from Claregalway who had impressed referees throughout the competition.
Ursula Grogan, Chill Insurance, presented the teams with cups and medals and complimented all the 320 players who had partaken in the Chill Insurance All Ireland U14 7s and remarked how fantastic it is that there is such an increase in LGFA players with the number continuously on the rise and how delighted Chill Insurance are to sponsoring such a wonderful tournament.
Finbarr O’Driscoll, Leinster President, was also in attendance as was Wally Thompson, ex LGFA President and we were delighted as always to have them at 7s.
The teams went away feeling invigorated, happy and tired. Some
faced long journeys home, and others stayed over for the TG4 All Ireland Finals in Croke Park on Sunday. All looking forward to next September in Kilmacud Crokes already!
Photos courtesy of Barbara Monahan